Traditional and Cognitive Grammar Descriptions of the English Present Tense, Progressive Aspect, and Stative and Dynamic Verbs
The purpose of the present chapter is twofold. First, it provides both the traditional and CG descriptions of the grammatical units of English mentioned in the title of the chapter. The descriptions are offered because the teaching of these grammatical elements was the main focus of the empirical study reported in Chap. 5. Both kinds of descriptions are presented since the quasi-experiment described in that chapter compared the effects of teaching based on traditional descriptions of the grammatical phenomena in question with teaching outcomes based on CG descriptions. The second objective follows naturally from the first, and from the focus of the whole book, which is the exploration of the effectiveness of CG-inspired grammar teaching in comparison with instruction based on traditional grammars. The second aim is to compare and contrast the two kinds of grammatical description, i.e. traditional descriptions and descriptions offered by CG. This is done in the second part of the chapter, mostly on the basis of the descriptions provided in the first. The grammatical elements to be described are specifically the English present tense, the progressive aspect, and the distinction between stative and dynamic verbs. The contrast between stative and dynamic verbs is discussed, because it impinges on how English verbs are used in the present tense and the progressive aspect.